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Oregon businessman has record Powerball lottery ticket

Oct 21, 2005, 1:20 pm

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Steve West of Medford, Oregon, is a wealthy, wealthy man.

West, a self-employed businessman, confirmed to ABC News that he and three other family members are the owners of the winning Powerball ticket worth $340 million.

"I still don't really believe that it's true," West told ABC News Radio. "It just really hasn't sunk in well. I'm told by everybody else that this is a life-changing situation, and I didn't plan on wanting to change that much. I mean, the money always sounded great, but I didn't want to change my lifestyle to go along with it."

West discovered he'd won when family members checked the numbers online.

"We didn't watch the Powerball drawing," he said. "We got a call … from the other family members saying, 'I can't believe it, some of these numbers are matching.' And then she (a relative) started saying, 'All these numbers are matching.' And we thought, 'Wow.'"

"She couldn't believe they were matching, and she could hardly talk," West said. "She was just so panicked. And my wife was talking to her. And it was pandemonium — I guess was the way to say it."

First-Time Player

The family had bought $40 worth of tickets, West said.

"We went over and looked at the ticket, verified that it's a correct ticket … and just haven't slept well the last two nights," he said.

Talk about luck: It was the first time West ever played Powerball. He said he won't do anything crazy with the money, though.

"Of course, everybody dreams of winning the lottery, but I've never really made plans of what I would buy, because it never went that in-depth," he said.

"We're talking to our financial planner Tuesday and we're probably going to invest all of it — or 99 percent of it," he added. "That'll still leave us a good small amount that we can take a vacation or buy some kind of a sports car."

For now, West will keep his day job, which he is refusing to disclose.

"I'm self-employed, and I still have been out to work yesterday," he said, "and I'm still going out today."

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